Contributed by Shabonya Dutton of State Farm, written by Kayla Ozman

Shabonya Dutton’s Good Neighbor is Chad Bowers/Mia Krenka

Their story is one of perseverance and commitment to help a friend in great need. 

Have you ever known something was the right thing to do in your heart?  That there was a greater purpose and plan at play than what was within your control?  Mia Krenka knew from the beginning of her living donor journey with Chad Bowers that she would be the person to give him the kidney that he desperately needed.  When no other donors went to the second phase of testing, Mia realized that God had a plan in place.

Chad Bowers was diagnosed with a kidney disease fifteen years ago.  He was told at that time that he would need a kidney transplant at some point, there was just no telling when it would need to happen.  Chad and his wife of fourteen years, Nicole, carried on their lives in that time. They had two daughters, Avery who is thirteen and Laila who is now eleven.  It was not until October of 2016 that things started to really go downhill for Chad’s health. In October Chad had a very bad case of gout, which was a symptom of his kidney disease.  The medications that he had to take to clear up his gout caused his Kidney function to drop dramatically and he had to start dialysis.  It was in March of this year that they knew he needed to have a transplant.

There are two types of donors that a person can receive an organ transplant from.  Either a living donor, or a cadaver donor.  Knowing that a cadaver donor is a three year waiting list Nicole took to social media.  She started a campaign to find Chad a living donor.  Through Nicole’s dedication and hard work for her husband Chad had more living donors step up to be tested than any other recipient in the University of Utah’s history.  The out pouring of support and caring from the community was amazing. Mia was the second person tested and it came back in June that she was a perfect match.  Mia knew in her heart this would be the case all along.  That June they scheduled the transplant surgery for September 5th.

Mia has been a school bus driver in Ruby Valley Nevada for the last twenty five years.  She has always been an extremely busy and active woman.  Between raising five children, and now chasing after seven grandchildren she still has found the time to give someone the gift of saving their life.  Mia had never had a previous surgery.  This would be the first time that she would go through something of this magnitude.  When her husband Henry asked her if she was nervous her response was, “I’m not nervous. I’m worried because I want my lawn mowed, bed made and laundry done.”  As with everything else in her life Mia approached the surgery with grace and humor.  According to Nicole, “Mia is one of the toughest and most amazing women you’ll ever meet.”

Everything went incredibly smoothly throughout the surgery. Mia had been told by multiple people that organ donation was harder on the donor than the recipient.  This was not the case for Mia. She was able to leave the hospital two days after her surgery and had a full action packed weekend in Salt Lake City.  Exactly one week after her surgery Mia and Chad had lunch and Mia was able to tell him that if she didn’t have the scars to prove it happened she wouldn’t have known.  She says that, “No one knew how sick Chad really was until they see how great he is doing now.”

Their bond goes deeper than just donor and recipient.  They are also family.  Mia’s daughter Amber is married to Chad’s brother.  To Mia God knew that they would need to be in each other’s lives before they did.  Mia still checks in with Chad all of the time to see how he is doing.  Chad will respond to Mia with his signature, “It’s all good.”

The piece of the story that has stayed with Mia is the incredible outpouring of support from the entire community. Neighbors and strangers alike have reached out to check on her.  They want to help and just be there.  Chad is doing very well.  He has been able to return to work after almost a year off.  Mia is back at it as well.  Chasing the seven grandchildren from sports and other activities and driving the school bus in Ruby Valley.  Their story is one of perseverance and commitment to help a friend in great need.  They are a testament to how strong and giving we can be.  We from Shabonya Dutton State farm would like to thank both Chad and Mia for sharing their incredible story with us.

If you have a good neighbor that you would like to nominate please call our office at 775.738.3423, email, or message us through our Facebook page Shabonya Dutton
State Farm Agent.